The Fighting Quakers: A New Vision for the Peace Testimony During World War I

dc.contributor.advisorGhosh, Pika
dc.contributor.authorBowen, Christina G.
dc.date.accessioned2019-08-20T14:43:09Z
dc.date.available2019-08-20T14:43:09Z
dc.date.issued2019
dc.description.abstractThe success of the American Quaker response to World War I through the creation of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) facilitated a shift in the Quaker peace testimony from a passive anti-war stance to an active, peace-building, reform-minded, religious duty. The institution of a draft when the United States entered WWI in 1917 had created an immediate crisis for the historically antiwar Society of Friends. In light of these circumstances, the Quakers were forced to reexamine their peace testimony. Under the auspices of the AFSC, the Quakers worked to overcome the tensions remaining from a 19th century schism and sought to negotiate with the government in order to allow conscientious objectors (COs) an alternative to combatant service. The extraordinary access of certain Friends allowed the AFSC to communicate with high-level government officials in pleading their case for alternative service programs. The dangerous conditions of the military camps in which COs were held and intense public support for the war created a great deal of urgency for the AFSC. The American Quakers also had to navigate disunity within their own community in working to preserve their values. The ethos of the AFSC mission was largely formed by prominent Quakers like Rufus M. Jones. His writings on the Inner Light and the peace testimony called for Friends to remain actively engaged in peace-building work. The robust, active obligation to eliminate war was articulated on an institutional level in the postwar period. World War I changed how many Friends defined what it meant to be a Quaker, a development which allowed for the creation of the AFSC and the use of the peace testimony as an active form of advocacy in imbuing its work with meaning relevant to the time.
dc.description.sponsorshipHaverford College. Department of Religion
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10066/21620
dc.language.isoeng
dc.rights.accessOpen Access
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.subject.lcshWorld War, 1914-1918 -- Conscientious objectors
dc.subject.lcshAmerican Friends Service Committee
dc.subject.lcshSociety of Friends
dc.titleThe Fighting Quakers: A New Vision for the Peace Testimony During World War I
dc.typeThesis
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